Call it another feather in her cap – or jewel in her crown.
She hasn’t even started second grade yet, but Eubank youngster Paisley Carrigan has yet another pageant title to add to her collection.
The 7-year-old competed last weekend in the AmeriFest pageant in Nashville, and came home with the title of Junior Miss U.S.
Paisley’s mom, Laura Carrigan, said that Paisley’s category was for those ages 7 to 9, and that Paisley was one of the youngest in that bracket.
“We were hopeful that she would win, but we went into the competition with the reality that she very well could not,” Laura said. “Paisley practiced really hard and worked really hard for several months, preparing for this so we were hopeful and we were optimistic, but we were definitely surprised when she was chosen.”
“I’m very excited,” Paisley said about winning. She also admitted that “winning” was her favorite part of last weekend.
She admits she wasn’t expecting the win.
To be a part of this particular pageant, contestants had to either have a state title or have high placement in the state preliminary.
Paisley got in because she was crowned Junior Miss Kentucky Bluegrass back in April.
It wasn’t her first foray into the AmeriFest nationals. In 2019, Paisley was crowned Little Miss U.S., so the family was elated with Paisley’s second win in that program, Laura said.
Paisley competed in several categories, two of which were optional – the Festival Wear and the Fashion Runway Wear events.
For Festival Wear, the girls got to wear an outfit of their choosing that represented their home state. Paisley chose a Louisville Slugger outfit.
“Because it was cute,” Paisley said. “And it was sparkly. That’s why I liked it.”
For her Evening Gown competition, Paisley’s outfit was truly one-of-a-kind. Paisley took to the stage in a custom dress designed by one of Project Runway’s contestants, Jonathan Kayne.
Although, Paisley couldn’t give Kayne all the credit.
“I helped design it,” she said. “I helped with the color and the beads and the cuffs.”
As part of her title, Paisley will be expected to travel around the state promoting her crown at events and parades. Laura said that Paisley already has plans to participate in Somerset’s and Eubank’s Christmas parades, and said there is the possibility that Paisley will be in Lexington’s parade as well.
So what does Paisley do with her time when she’s not in pageants or in school? Laura said Paisley loves to help out on the family’s farm.
“A lot of people are kind of shocked she does pageants because she’s a farm girl. She also likes to ride a dirt bike, that’s a newfound activity, so she has a good mixture of all things girly and all things tomboy.”
When asked what she enjoyed doing during the summertime, Paisley said, “Farm with my daddy and play in the hose. Play in the pool.”
Paisley lives with her parents Laura and Brian Carrigan and her brother, Corbin. She is the granddaughter of Luanne McQueary and the late Alan McQueary, and to David Carrigan and the late Rita Carrigan.
Paisley was coached for the pageant by Taylor Wilhoite and Kurt Jordan of KT Pageantry.